‘We need to take a deep breath,’ Chris Kise, former Florida Solicitor General who just joined Trump’s legal team, Aileen M. Cannon told U.S. District Court.
Jay Bratt, a senior Justice Department counterintelligence official, responded that Trump was not entitled to a special master, pointing out that the issue in the case was the possible hiding of highly sensitive government secrets at a residence. private.
Trump “is no longer the president, and because he’s no longer the president, he had no right to take these documents,” Bratt told the court. Justice Department officials also told Cannon that their own screening team had already done a thorough analysis. review of the material, and had set aside 64 sets of documents – comprising some 520 pages – which could be considered to be protected by solicitor-client privilege.
Trump’s attorneys have argued that a special master should review the seized documents for possible executive privilege claims. Traditionally, the principle of executive privilege has been used to prevent private presidential discussions from being shared with other branches of government, and it’s unclear how or if such a claim by Trump advisers would apply to a former president trying to keep information from the executive branch. .
Cannon, who during the weekend indicated that she was inclined to name a special master, said she would consider the arguments and issue a written decision, although the likely timing of her decision is unclear.
In a filing blisters in court On Tuesday, the Justice Department said a special master was not needed and the FBI’s unprecedented search of a former president’s home was justified. The filing alleged that Trump and his advisers repeatedly failed to turn over highly classified government documents, even after receiving a subpoena and promising that a “diligent search” had been conducted, leading to the August 8 raid which found over 100 additional classified items.
Trump’s team has accused the Justice Department of acting politically in its investigation into the former president’s possible mishandling of classified documents after he left the White House. Their legal deposits argue that the government seized documents he is not allowed to take.
“Three weeks after an unprecedented, unnecessary, and legally unsupported raid on the home of a president – and possibly a candidate against the current chief executive in 2024,” Trump’s legal team wrote in a filing Wednesday night, “the government…has filed an extraordinary document with the court, suggesting that the DOJ, and the DOJ alone, should be tasked with assessing its wrongful pursuit to criminalize a former president’s possession of records personal and presidential in a secure environment.
Kise was officially added as the former president’s co-counsel in a Thursday morning filing ahead of the hearing. He has signed a multi-million dollar contract to join Trump’s team, according to people familiar with the hire, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive aspects of Trump’s court case.
People said Kise, who left the Foley and Lardner law firm to take the job with Trump, was assured that he would play a “lead” role in the case.
Josh Dawsey and Ann Marimow contributed to this report.